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During our last few weeks we finally drew night guard duty. I was 18 yrs old and 186 lbs. of H&ll, Death, & Destruction. Well, I remember the 1st night of guard duty carrying my Garand & newly starched greens. I drew an abandoned drive-in movie theater. Vintage Boot Camp Special

The OD pulled up in his jeep, and he had the CO with him. They asked me to recite my 1st General Order, then the CO laid this on me: "Son, what would you do if I came running across this field, straight at you, with a fully loaded AK47"? I said, "Sir, I would call the Corporal of the guard" "Now, why the h&ll would you do that"? I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Sir, to haul your dead asz away" The next day our Gunnery Sgt. Drill instructor called me into his hut and gave me an "Outstanding, private"! Got my 1st stripe out of boot camp. Back then, rank didn't come easy.

Semper Fi.
Ben DeAscentis, 1958-1960

Sugar Wolf
It was the last day of Operation Dewey Canyon for First Battalion Ninth Marines, 18 March 1969 if my memory serves me right. Mortar rounds were falling from the sky like rain, as one of the Marine Corps choppers cleared the LZ carrying KIA's and WIA's it caught shrapnel and something fell out of the back.

We all feared the worst until we found out it was only a pack. We had dug trenches to LZ and waited our turn to be airlifted out. The 101st Airborne choppers showed up and after my second attempt I finally boarded my ticket back to safety. We lifted off and were finally clear of enemy fire, with adrenaline pumping everyone on the bird was about to explode into a joyous outburst. From the front of the chopper came a booming voice that could be heard over top the rotors and all the internal noise of the Chinook....

Don't nobody be happy, there are still men back on the LZ, we need to pray for them! Every head in the chopper bowed in silent prayer for those still in harm's way. The Man with the booming voice known only to me by his nickname of Sugar Wolf put our world back into perspective. It was rumored he was a Golden gloves champion from New York other than that I have no information. If anyone remembers him or he reads this, I want him to know after all these years he has my utmost respect !

Semper Fi
Williams Whitley, Corporal of Marines

William Faulkner and son with friends on Iwo Jima William Faulkner and son standing next to memorial on Iwo Jima Recent Visit To Iwo Jima
I wanted to share a photo of Sgt Grit Iwo Jima Polo shirts. We wore these on a recent visit to Iwo Jima. My father fought there for 18 days. He was assigned to Charlie company, 1st Battalion, 28th Regiment , 5th Division. We were there courtesy of Dick Portillo of the Portillo Restaurant Group. My father was in the book Flags of Our Fathers. His name is William Faulkner. Thank you for the great polo shirts. We put them to good use.
Dave Faulkner

Yemassee, SC
Sgt. Grit,

While traveling through South Carolina I was hit with a bit of Marine Corps Nostalgia. So I decided to go to Yemassee to see what I remembered of the receiving barracks. It was the first step for 500,000 recruits from 1914 to 1964, I had my turn in February, 1964, a few months before it was taken out of operation.

Yemassee former home of Marine Receiving StationYemassee Marine Barracks now a park with a white wooden fence

There were brick barracks, now what is left of them, and the wood barracks, now a fenced park, the only remaining object is the concrete walkway.

Yemassee S.C. Train StationYemassee Station

Getting off of that train station, I was a million miles from home, and thought, "what the h&ll", Yemassee took two days out of my life, and 45 years later it still sparks interest. So for you "Old Salts" here is what is left of it, again just another memory.

Robert Haller, 2nd. 3rd. Tanks, 64-70

USMC Shirt Special Yemassee Train Depot Marine Reunion
This year will be the seventh year for the Yemassee Train Depot Marine Reunion and we would like to see it be the best ever. This reunion is to Honor all Marine that went to Parris Island and passed through the Train Depot. It is free and all you have to do is come . You might meet a buddy. Dates are 16 &17 Oct 2009 Contact me for more information.
Howard L. Hostrander
pce8526 @ aol .com

Ran Smack Dab
It was 1957 and the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Hancock was doing the Marching Manual with a twirl, with fixed bayonets on the docks alongside the ship in Yokosuka, Japan. As we were going through the drill I heard a click of rifles meeting. The sound came from the back of the formation.

Our Gunny, spit and polish and poster perfect Marine called the formation to a halt right away. He raised his sword and ran to the back of the formation. The young private in the rear seen him coming and really fearing the gunny with his drawn sabre, broke ranks and ran. We all watched as the gunny chased the Pvt. The private passed the after brow and approached the forward/officers brow and he ran smack dab right into a Marine Col., who happened to be the squadron commander of the Marine air squadron VMF 214 (Blacksheep).

The Col. was knocked flat and when he looked up all he could see was a Marine Gunny Sgt. standing over him with a drawn sabre that was lifted over his head.

The Gunny was put on report and served three weeks restriction to the ship.

Dean Dunn
MarDet USS Hancock 1957-58

Plt. 11-A, 1965
WM Platoon 11A October 1965 Sgt. Grit,
Since the guys send in their boot camp platoon graduation pictures, I decided to send in mine. I'm in Row 3, 5th from right. Perhaps some other WMs from Plt.11-A, which graduated 27 Oct.1965, read your newsletters, and may enjoy this.

Several years ago I was able to contact our senior WM DI, Sgt. Janet Kemmerer of Lancaster OH, to thank her. She retired as a Maj. years ago. Maybe there's another WM from 11-A out there who remembers.

J. M. Oliver

Why The Marines?
Sgt. Grit,

I would like to start this by saying thank you for the motivational newsletter I receive in my inbox every week. It surely makes my week a lot more interesting. I am a Corporal of Marines, and a Marine Security Guard currently serving at the American Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia. I joined the Marine Corps in my senior year of high school after always wanting to be one of "The Few, The Proud". I hit my 3-year mark just less than a week ago, and I've enjoyed every moment of it. Lots of people ask me all the time, "Why the Marines"? I can always think of hundreds of reasons why, but the only thing I ever say is, "Why would I want to be anything less than the best?" That shuts them up pretty quickly.

Now back to my point of this email. I would like to just say, that for anyone out there who dreams of doing great things, seeing the world, and enjoying life, join our team, the U.S. Marines. The camaraderie and honor you experience as a Marine is far beyond anything I have ever before experienced in my life. Never did I think I would meet people so dedicated to a cause and to each other, until I joined up and placed my feet upon those yellow footprints on July 31st, 2006.

Well thank you Sgt Grit for the great newsletter once again.

Cpl Joshua Chretien
U.S. Embassy Bratislava,

WHO Rifle Is This?
I served in the reserves, so platoon organization fluctuated a lot. We received a newly promoted Sgt, we'll call him Sgt H. who had served his entire career in another platoon. His first day on the job, he told our platoon how much he didn't like us, and how much he didn't want to be in our platoon. So obviously, he wasn't a platoon favorite from day one. He tried to make our lives more difficult because, well, what else did he have to do.

One day for drill, we had just restructured our platoons again, after getting a new C.O. , which meant brand new weapons cards, which meant brand new Serial numbers on Rifles to learn. All of the sudden, we started hearing panicked calls for 2nd platoon to form up. So we dropped what we were doing and got into formation. After a couple of minutes of standing by, the door kicked open and Sgt H. was livid. "WHO Rifle Is This?" he screamed while holding a rifle in his hand. The ultimate SIN, a Marine leaving his rifle unattended was surely going to cost us.

"I found this rifle just lying around, and no knows who it is? So one more time, WHO'S RIFLE is THIS?" He was getting more agitated by the minute. So the squad leaders and fire team leaders started the scramble of searching for the un- lucky Marine. During the time everyone was checking, we received a very lengthy monologue of what kind of a Marine loses his rifle, and it goes to show the lack of discipline, and leadership our platoon showed. And how he never wanted to be associated with a Marine who could lose his Rifle and not know about it. And how much work he had in order to clean up our platoon.

A quick check of gear and serial numbers indicated that everyone in our platoon, not only had their rifle, but had their correct rifle. "So let's do this the hard way" replied Sgt H. "Obviously someone is lying to me." He instructed one of our Squad Leaders to get out the Platoon Weapons list, which had everyone's name, and serial number on it. He then read off the serial number, and told the squad leader to find it. After a couple minutes of searching the list, the squad leader said "I found it." Sgt H. said "Well who's is it?" The squad leader paused, then said "It's YOURS Sergeant." A silent and subdued chuckle started. As Sgt H's face turned more and more red, the chuckle grew into a roar. You couldn't help but laugh.

While it was a small victory in the day of the life of a Marine, in the end it helped him respect us a little more, and help him realize no one is perfect, and maybe our platoon wasn't THAT bad?

Sgt Smith,
Fox 2/23

About the time of Woodstock when a huge crowd of hippies were gathering in NY state another group of young men were suffering the indignities of Viet Nam. These Marines were fighting in the first major engagement after the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal. Sometimes called Death Valley or AK Valley this was a gruesome place. I quote from the Book DEATH VALLEY by Keith William Nolan "But in the recorded history of the Vietnam War, there is not a single instance of a Marine Unit refusing a combat mission.

Bill Carey, Corps of Marines

Hi Sgt Grit

I was recently jawing with a Marine buddy of mine and he brought up the subject: why NO Juliette Company and did I know. He said he had asked another Marine from the local Marine Corps League and he didn't know either.

We have ALPHA to INDIA and then KILO thru ZULU.

Does any other Marine Brother know why NO JULIETTE COMPANY. Id be glad to hear back.

Semper Fi!
1960 - 1966

Sgt. Grit, I remember the M-1 and qualified with it in 1958 at Camp Matthews. I remember we put a dime on the tip of the barrel. When you squeezed the trigger, if the dime fell, you "Jerked it." Practiced until we could squeeze and the dime remain on the rifle barrel. Remember the metal clips, once you fired all your rounds, you would hear a "Pling," that's the clip leaving the rifle and you must reload.

Sgt. A. "Sunny" Sundberg 58'-62', 66'-70' and 72'-76'.

Drawing Their Attention
Big Change At Recruit Receiving, PISC (Approximately Early 1967)

The recruit training cycle circa 1966 - '67 was changed from 13 weeks to 8 weeks due to Vietnam. Marines were needed fast. Recruit platoons were being picked-up at Recruit Receiving at any time they finished processing, day or night. The Recruit Training Regiment (RTR) established a policy that when a platoon was to be picked up, that they expected the Bn Chain of Command to be present and observe the pick-up. So, you would not only see the platoon's DI's doing their job, but the Series Officer, Co. Cmdr. and the Bn Cmdr observing. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to see the RTR Cmdr. and even the Depot CG make a few too. Remember, this could be happening at 0-Dark-30 any day of the week.

The platoon being picked up would fallout of the rear hatch of Recruit Receiving after processing onto the tarmac parking lot. Here, their new DI Team would form them up for movement to their barracks. Nearby, and to the side of the Receiving Bldg was a street that the Greyhound Bus would pull-up to park and unload newly arriving recruits. Just across the curb and sidewalk where the bus parked were the famous yellow footprints. I'd guess this was about 50 yards away and on the same tarmac as the platoon that was getting picked up would be.

The late night and early morning bus arrivals were a sight. The long bus ride from way up north and any great distances from PI were an exhausting trip accompanied by the large amount of normal anxiety and anticipation of what was to come. Plus, you have to understand, the Draft was on in those days and some never anticipated this scenario even in their dreams! The late night and early morning groups also seemed to have another factor bearing on the situation. They were the ones most likely to buy enough alcohol along the way for one last goodbye to civilian life. Naturally, they could be pretty numb or in borderline delirium when the bus arrived.

The general practice as I understood it, was when the Greyhound arrived at the bus station in Beaufort with a mix of recruits for PI and civilians going on, they would drop off the civilians temporarily to take a break, while they took only recruits to PI. Then, they would return to the bus station in Beaufort to reboard the civilians and finish their trip.

So, here was the Greyhound pulling into the curb by Recruit Receiving with it's 0-Dark-30 load of mostly "groggy" recruits. The Routine was for the bus driver to dismount and a Receiving DI to creep aboard the bus to the very rear. Outside near the bus door on the ground another Receiving DI and over by the footprints on the tarmac another Receiving DI.

Then, BOOM - "Get off this civilian bus", "Move, Move, Move you scuzzy %#$@&&&&", etc. etc. etc. Those recruits would be bailing, tumbling, jumping in sheer horror with the Receiving DI on the ground by the door catching a few and launching them on toward the footprints. Well, naturally our group of officers that were nearby to observe the pickup turned around to see the chaos going on by the bus. By the way, the bus drivers just loved this scenario. We were picking up our second platoon of the Series, so these arrivals were to be members of our third or fourth platoon in that Series.

At about half way through the chaotic unloading, the DI aboard the bus became extremely loud and irate it seemed. All of a sudden a somewhat small furry figure came tumbling out and sort of plopped to the ground. The two nearby DI's hovered above the figure really whooping it up to get the person moving, then they surprisingly stopped dead while looking down. Then they dropped to their knees like giving aid.

All of a sudden you could see what was drawing their attention and concern. There on the grass by the doorstep, the small figure opened up her somewhat bulky fur coat and it looked like the cartoon character "Tweety Pie's Mother" (a little ole frail lady). Everyone came over to see if they could help this poor lady who was nearly in shock. It turned out she was OK, not hurt, just a little worse for wear due the experience. Apparently, she had fallen asleep on the bus and wasn't filtered/screened off by the bus driver in Beaufort. What an experience. Well, from that day, there were no longer Receiving DI's mounting the bus for any recruit unloads. Bus drivers returned to the job of getting them off.

Semper Fi,
Capt. T. PISC, 1967

I Was A Big Time Fan
Dear Sgt Grit,
While in Viet Nam in December of 1965, Mike Schille and I were cleaning our rifles while inside the 2/9 Battalion perimeter.

Schille looked out the tent and saw the Bn. Commander and some guy in civilian clothes wearing an old "Herringbone Style" utility cover. He was rather short in height and the two of them went into the mail tent.

We were wondering who that was with the Lt Col. W. F. Donahue. We thought it might be Chesty Puller and we wanted to meet him so we went over to the mail tent and just hung around the "Hatch" waiting for them to come out.

When they came out, LtCol. Donahue says: "Schille, Strawn, I'd like you to meet Hugh O'Brian". Mr O'Brian stuck out his hand and said: "Merry Christmas Marine" as he shook my hand.

This was one of the highlights of my tour overthere. I was a bigtime fan of the Wyatt Earp tv show and never missed an episode when I was a kid.

Hugh, If you are reading this, Thank you for that special gesture..This old Marine will always remember that. It was so special for you to come over there and do that for us.

Semper Fidelis Marines,
Dale Strawn, D 1/9 and H 2/9

They Told Him He Would
I was able to take my family to a local fair in Janesville WI a few weeks back to watch the Silent Drill Platoon perform. The first part of the show was a ceremony honoring fallen vets from all branches of the military. 5 old Marines quietly made a boots, rifle and helmet monument for each branch as the host explained what each set of equipment stood for. As the old Marines finished and marched off they brought in another set of retired service men lead by a Marine to do a flag folding ceremony. It was truly quite moving. Once the flag was folded and presented to the fallen comrades a bag pipe began playing Amazing Grace and there was barely a dry eye in the house.

After the bag pipes a lone bugler did Taps and who ever wasn't choked up or crying by then just isn't human. My wife somehow sensed not to bother me while this was going on gently touched my arm afterward and said honey don't worry you weren't the only one. I looked around and that's when I noticed men and women older and younger than me visibly moved.

Early in the ceremony the flags of each service were marched out and the veterans of that organization were asked to stand and be recognized. There was polite clapping for each branch until the U.S.M.C. flag was marched out. The entire stands erupted in cheers and those of us who served were given a 2-3 minute ovation. I have always been proud to carry the title Marine but that day it held a special meaning for me.

When it came time for the S.D.T to come out a hush fell over the crowd in eager anticipation. When they came around that corner in perfect unison an audible gasp came from the crowd. They were magnificent ! For the next 15 minutes we were treated to the best drill team in the world. The precision, focus and concentration they displayed is unmatched.

When it came to leave my oldest son went over to the Marine booth and asked if he could get some Marine gear. They told him he would have to earn what ever he wanted. I was pretty amazed the scrawny 16 year old was able to 15 pull ups in a row. The Marines surrounded him as he did his pulls ups and shouted encouragement and wouldn't let him give up. As we left with his gear he earned he asked me if that was what it was like when I was in. I asked him what he meant and he asked if the guys I knew wouldn't let me give up when I was tired and I said yes and I imagine is has been that way since 1775. Semper Fi my brothers

Jeff Crump
lcpl 1986-1990

OD Cover
My brother-in-law and I took a trip to the NRA National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio the other day.

While there, I was wearing an OD cover I had purchased from you about three or four years ago. We were standing behind the shooters at the 500 yard line, and a group of four Marines caught my eye. There were two coaches, and two shooters. After a short time, one of the shooters, an E-5, came over to us, and started chatting with us. I grinned to myself because I knew what was about to be asked. Sure enough, he asked me how long I had had this cover. I replied that I had owned this particular one for about three years, but I had earned my first one in 1962. The sergeant was not too surprised, but just nodded, and walked off. If you are reading this, Sgt., Semper Fi for asking. There are too many pretenders and "wanna-bes" walking around impersonating Marines. OOO-RAH!

George D. Seitz, Cpl, 1962-1967

Hey Grit, thanks for the apology on the poser from last issue. However, no apology is necessary. We have all been fooled from time to time. It comes with the territory of being The Best. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in this case, I hope that the proper authorities make sure that an example is made of this scum bag. Especially for all the TRUE MARINES who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more notably for those who gave all so this poser could take some.

Jim Wolter
Former MARINE and proud father of 2.

Note: Authorities have been contacted. If anything comes of it I will report.
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Hey Sarge,

In reference to that fake...

I know it does happen and I had to go back and see that picture once again. What looks to be a very highly decorated Marine actually looks Photoshopped or store bought. If it turns out to be true this "actor" is a disgrace to himself, his family and the flag so many have fought and died for. The moment I got off the bus and hit those yellow prints at MCRD Parris Island I knew I wanted to wear that uniform with honor. I know of organizations like the one you spoke of, and some "actors" claiming to have been part of elite military divisions have been brought to justice by them. I truly believe it should be the same type of crime as impersonating a police officer. I applaud you for keeping our traditions sacred and our honor intact. My new girlfriend, (hopefully fiancee soon), left our Corps after thirteen years, fought her way up and through OCS and left a Captain at only 4'10" , tough as nails too! A true testament to our ability to adapt and overcome...

I just hope this "MGySgt" gets his before some real Marines find him...Then it's Family justice...

Semper Fi!

Sgt Grit

I hope that you know there are a great many imposters out there. They could never serve nor make a pimple on a grand Marines butt. I had an instance where a person came into the job service, at the time I was the veteran's representative. He presented a DD 214, low and behold, he was a hero, but somehow when I saw the Medal Of Honor, the red flag flew up. I did not recognize the name so I helped him out, took the 214 and went to the SgtMaj of the Corps, he went ballistic and told me he wanted this one worked. Come to find out he never made it past Pvt, he had the civil defense medal and a toilet bowl.

Needless to say the JAG sent a person from DC to investigate and they charged him. I met many a pogey bait soldier but never one that would claim the highest honor we can give, I knew many men in Viet Nam that should have won the Medal Of Honor, but all they received was the Purple Heart and a trip home in a draped casket. I say to ALL Marines, wear what you have earned with honor, and destroy those that dishonor our best and brightest that we have lost! God Bless You All and Long Live The Corps!

"Semper Fi"

Msg Silas C. Versage Retired
Just a grateful Old Corps Fart!
1/5, 2/5, 27th, 28th, 2/7, 3/4, 2nd LAAM Cherry Point.

I Fared Well
To Sgt. DR George

You are correct regarding the 2nd Recruit Bat. pic of the barracks, with the exception that the silver pipes were for steam which provided heat for the barracks and not for water. Also I believe it was the 'front' of the barracks because I was in THAT barracks in Sep. to Dec in 1959 platoon 267 in the series 266-7-8-9.

There WAS a chow hall directly behind the photographer which I served my 'mess duty' in. At the rear of the barracks there was a 'Dempster Dumpster' and a small utility building next to which were our rifle cleaning racks all of which were across a service road. That service road was where we did our morning Rifle PT after we did numerous laps around the grinder. I guess you MIGHT call it the front of the barracks as it faced toward the main road going into mainside. Whenever our DI's said 'fall out in front' we fell out across the street from the chow hall.

The NE direction is correct as the sun came up toward the right side of the pic. I remember seeing it MANY times. To the left was 3rd Bat. and the rifle range which we marched to in the dark on many mornings. Also, there were no yellow footprints then and receiving was next to the brig. We were formed azzhole to bellybutton when we got off the bus in the middle of the night on Sept. 8,1959. I fared well and made PFC by shooting expert and was Company Guide in ITR. I still love the Corps and it's regimen. Wish I could relive the memories I have.

Semper Fidelis
Jim Slack 1842257
Cpl. of Marines ('59-'63)

An Old Sailor
Sgt. Grit, I read stories on your news letter I thought I would write and tell you my views of the Corps. I was a very young sailor in 1956 as a hospital corpsman, when I was stationed at Cherry Point N.C. 2nd Marine Air Wing. sometimes its scary when a sailor goes to the Marines, but I was treated with the greatest respect accorded anyone, Now at 72 I am very proud of my Marine service, And the FMF especially the Air Wing MAG 32 and MAG 27
thanks for listening to an old sailor/Marine.
G.Fry Hospitalman U.S. N./U.S.M.C.

Like John Hancock Did
Dear Sgt Grit:

Most folks who've been stationed there will concede that Quantico is one of the loveliest Marine Corps installations. The Virginia Hills, the climax forests, and the country roads all add up to paint a living picture that any landscape artist would be proud to call his own.

It was mid-Summer, and Golf Company at the Basic School (affectionately known as "Goofy Grape") was engaged in a nocturnal land navigation test. The five-mile course was laid out to test fledgling Second Lieutenants' individual abilities to use the M-1950 Lensatic Compass in the dark, and to negotiate terrain features while doing so. Each of us was assigned a starting point and an azimuth. The mission was to arrive at our assigned finishing points within the specified time limit.

The night was dark enough that I swear I could see ground ahead of me by the light of my wrist watch's luminous dial. There was no moon, the stars were occluded by a dark overcast, and we were far enough away from mainside that there was no further illumination from streetlights reflecting off the cloud cover.

The "Corps, of course, was duly concerned for our safety. Uncle Sam put a lot of time, effort, and cash into our training up to that point, so losing one or more of us during this exercise was no option. We all had intermediate points along the march route manned by one of the demonstration company with an AN/PRC 25 radio and I believe a Corpsman as well. After all, the most dangerous weapon in the Marine Corps is a Second Lieutenant with a map and Compass.

About the time I nearly tripped over the young LCpl manning my intermediate point, The Virginia woods started to light up like a strobe light show in advance of a thunderstorm. The radioed instructions from Range Control stated that the safest way to get us all out of there was to let us finish the course.

If you remember any of the classes which included how to protect your night vision, you'll remember that the main point was to avoid looking at lights. That was impossible when the entire sky went from pitch-black to brilliant blue-white every couple of seconds. I'd pick out a tree during a flash along my general line of march and try to aim at it in the dark interludes, all the while keeping one forearm at eye level trying to fend off low branches. The rain was a gully-washer: like the proverbial cow peeing on a flat rock.

Finally, I could tell I'd reached a road I'd recognized from our six-mile runs, and I barked my shin on the mailbox finishing marker: the rain had erased its number. It was a short distance back O'Bannon Hall, so I eased on down the road without waiting for the six-by that was supposed to pick us up. I made up to my room just in time to see the company bagpiper, U Penn graduate Jeff Christman, slog his drenched self through the door across the hall. "Gee, Jeff, How'd it go?" I asked with a big grin born of elation just to have survived the evening. He looked up in disbelief. He vowed I looked like I hadn't been outside at all other than a few rain drops on my shoulders. "Brown, how the h&ll do you do that?" "Jeff, lad, God looks out for drunks and fools: I qualify on both counts."

Captain T. M. Brown, our Staff Platoon Commander, left a sign-in sheet on his office door. He'd also jokingly left another one below it to sign up for the Infantry: "No turning back! Only the strong need apply!" I signed that one using three lines just so the Captain could read it without his spectacles: like John Hancock did for King George. Meanwhile, peace and quiet returned to Quantico.


Grace And Ease, But The Edge
Sgt. Grit,

Today I had quite an experience in the grocery store. I was cruising through the produce section, when I happened to notice an elderly gentleman pushing his cart toward me. As he got closer, I saw he had on a cap that said, "Iwo Jima Survivor". Well, I walked up to him and said, "Semper Fi, Marine", and his face lit up as he said, "Semper Fi". I proceeded to thank him for all he'd done in WWII, and we stood there chatting as if we were old buddies.

His name was Sid Gelman, and he was in the 4th Marine Division, 23rd Regiment if I remember correctly, and was wounded by shrapnel in his hip and leg on the first day. What amazed me was his demeanor...this gentleman had to be in his mid 80s at the least, and yet he had such dignity, such bearing, that it was easy to see was one of the Few...he talked about his time on Roi-Namur, Saipan, and Iwo with grace and ease, but the edge was still there after 65 years...
My hat is off to these men, heroes that they are, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and for every combat Marine. Any Marine, especially combat Marines, are welcome in my home in a place of honor that is befitting their status as heroes. I stand here in awe of all they've accomplished, and everything they've done for this country and my freedom. Semper Fi, brothers....well done and welcome home...

Charles S. Lloyd
Sgt 1975-1983

Illinois License Plate
Sgt Hoffman's NAM Illinois License Plates Sgt Grit!
My Illinois Purple Heart Plates!

Semper Fi and Welcome Home to All Veterans

Sgt. Rich Hoffman Chicago
9th Engineers 1st Marine Division
Vietnam 68-69

Short Rounds
Lighten up gunny! We're all brothers here. This fun rival btwn PI and SD has been going on long before you and I and will for as long as we exist.

Former Marine Ron St.Clair has found a swagger stick with the engraved name of "Matt Dzubak" and a 1961 Med Cruise stamp on it. Contact him at Concord, NH if you are or have information about this person. Tel: 1-603-736-8522

The phrase, as I remember it [Platoon 355, MCRD, 1961] was:



Semper Fidelis,

Thanks for the photo of the Arizona Platoon 354.
I too was in the Arizona Plt at MCRD San Diego. We were platoon 3019 7JUL67.
Plt Commander GYSGT Green, D.I. S/SSGT Reynolds, and D.I. SGT Newman. It was good to read and see the photo of those Arizona Marines and all the streamers that were earned. The memories and hard work that we put into becoming the Honor Platoon of our series were a delight. Thanks for the memories. To all Arizona Marines a BIG OOORAH and SEMPER FI
Edward Contreras 0311/8541/0141
Honor Platoon 3019 Arizona

To the Gunny that wrote about "Jawing" between boot camps, etc....Gunny, to this day we as Marines still joke around and play the "Dozens"....Get a hold of yourself, no one Marine means any harm in his or her braggin'.....

Cpl Starling
59-63 Parris Island

Below is a link to a YouTube video of an interview with Bea Arthur. At five minutes thirty-one seconds into the interview, the interviewer asks "I had read somewhere that you joined the Marines. Is that true?" and Bea Arthur's response is "Oh, no. No."

Bea Arthur Interview (YouTube)

The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Sgt. Grit
In regards to the letter you received from Jerry D, I learned that Hugh O'Brian, televisions Wyatt Earp, was also a Marine and served as a Drill Instructor immediately after graduating boot camp at the age of 18.
Semper Fi,
Gunny Gat (Ret) 1966-1970

Sgt Grit
In response to Sharon Crompton's mention of Hugh O'Brian aka Wyatt Earp.
While in Nam 67-68 I had the pleasure of meeting Hugh when he came to DaNang with the USO. He reminded all of us Marines of his Marine Corps experience. A true gentleman and great representative of the Marine Corps. He never forgot where he came from.

Jim Donegan
Former Staff Sergeant of Marines
3rd Amtracs, 1st MarDiv

5th Marines.
I was happy to read that Willy Buhl got his command. I, and a group of retired and former Marines who get together in Monterey, Ca, have had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a brew or two with Col. Buhl. His brother, Tim, is a member of our loose association of Marines, without whom we would not have had the honor of meeting Col. Buhl.
Howard Tsuchiya

Sgt Grit; I entered the U.S. Marine Corps , Jan 11 1957, The M1 30. cal rifle was (is) super. It would crush your thumb when you inserted a new ammo clip into the weapon, but when it was properly "zeroed in" it was the only thing you would want in your hands. It was truly "this is my rifle........." Of all the weapons the Marine Corps has adopter my preferred weapon is the M1 and 45 cal. M1911.

GySgt Rus P. Best USMC (Retired)

During a family get together, my Brother who was Army and a friend of the family who was Special Forces, we were taking a break from festivities. At one point, my Brother warned me, "Careful, you are outnumbered Marine". I replied, "You need 3 more guys just to make it interesting". WE all laughed and had another beer.

Semper Fi,

Dave Miller 67/69
L/Cpl ret.

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Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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